Making mistakes is a part of coding, and every programmer a few lines earlier or later makes tonnes of mistakes, especially as a beginner. No matter how brilliant and planned a programmer is, he/she will always make common mistakes. 😢
No programmer can write error-free code or not make any mistakes. But it is possible with better programming practices to minimize or avoid making mistakes. If you can avoid the common mistakes mentioned in this article, you will become a “better” programmer. 😄
Here are some of those common mistakes that you should avoid.
1. Not Making Your Fundamentals Clear 👨💻
The most common mistake beginners make is not making the fundamentals clear. When you begin to learn to code, commonly, you skip learning the fundamentals and jump to the next chapter. ⛔ To understand the advanced concepts of a programming language, you need to be very clear about the fundamentals.
If you are doing, the same mistake, at some point, you will end up with lots of confusion, 😕 and you will have to come back to the basics again.
So when you start learning a programming language, make all the fundamentals clear and then move to the next chapter. It will save you a lot of time. ⏳
Fundamentals: Syntax, Variables, Data Types, Control Flow, or Tools.
2. Trying Too Many Things At Once 🤷♂️
Another common mistake that beginners make when they start learning to code is, learning too many programming languages or frameworks. They think it is impressive to have too many languages to showcase or put up on their resume. 🤥
“Too Much Of Anything Is Bad. 🚫”
3. Not Learning By Doing and Practicing ⌨️
A common mistake that beginners make while learning to program is learning not by doing or practicing. Most beginners (do not) learn programming just by reading books, watching tutorials, or looking at the sample code on their screens without practicing it. But this isn’t how programming works. 🤦♂️
You need to sit down and keep practicing regularly. When you start practicing, you will face several problems, but this will improve your skills, and you will learn a lot of things — that will make you a better programmer. 👨💻
Practicing: Coding or Building Your Projects.
4. Not Coding By Hand ✍️
As a beginner or an intermediate, you must be thinking, Why should I code by hand? Isn’t it a time-consuming process? ⏳ I can’t even run my code. Why should I use a pen and paper?
There are several reasons why you should code by hand. 📝
One of the biggest reasons is Planning. 🤔 Writing code without a plan could be a limitation. Once you have your thinking on a paper, you can beautify it using editors and tools.
Another reason is the interviews. 💼 When you apply for a programming job, you will be asked to code by hand — using a pen and paper.
Taking notes is essential when you are learning to program. There are a lot of new concepts you come across while learning a new language. 🤯 So writing them on a paper could be very useful — It will help you understand the concepts better, and you will always be able to revise them.
So learning to code this way will make your life much easy. 🧬
5. Not Googling 🕵️♂️ | Community Support 👨👨👦
It is impossible to remember everything about programming, so the internet is the biggest help library. 📚 Being able to quickly and efficiently find what you are looking for is invaluable.
When you start to learn to program, do not hesitate to ask for help. ❓ Beginners make this mistake and feel shy when they need to ask for help. It doesn’t matter if your questions are silly or stupid. If you don’t ask for help, you will be struggling with it later. 🥴 So it is always good to ask for help from other programmers or quickly do a Google Search — It can help you grow as a programmer. 👨💻
Help: Google Search, YouTube Search, Help Forum, Discussion Site, or Stack Overflow, etc.
6. Not Having A Proper Plan 🤔
Thinking, Research, and Planning are the essential stages while building a project or learning a new programming language. A lot of beginners who skip these stages do not understand the problems and limitations. 😢 They spend less (or no) time planning and spend all their time writing code.
On the other hand, the professionals and experienced programmers spend the only 1/10th of their time writing code. 💻 The rest of the time, they think, research, and plan on the project.
Beginners should also practice this — They should Think, Research, and Plan before working on a project or learning a programming language. 👏
7. Not Documenting Your Code 📑 | Debugger 🐞
One of the mistakes that beginners make is not documenting their code. By this, I mean not having a backup of the written code. 📂
Imagine working on a project, and weeks later, you find your disk crashed, and you have lost all your work. There is no way you are going to get your efforts back. 😢 So the best practice is to have a backup for your code.
Documenting: GitHub, or Cloud Services — Dropbox.
“Always Have A Backup Plan. 📦 ”
Mistakes while coding is very common. You will find a lot of errors while you code. 🐞 So, it is always good to use a debugger to find out errors and fix them.
A lot of beginners do not learn how to debug their code. If you are good at debugging — It will be easier for you to learn to code. 😄
8. Not Taking Regular Breaks ☕️
Another mistake that beginners make when they start learning to program is to spend long hours in front of the computer screen trying to grasp everything. 💻 It is a bad practice as you could exhaust yourself. It is always good to learn anything in chunks.
Taking short breaks is very important as it helps restore your focus and find solutions for the problems — This will save you a lot of time, and you can avoid headache or frustration. 😉
Breaks: Nap, Listen to Music, etc.
9. I’ll Fix It Later 😪 | I Know All 😏
There is a difference between reading code and practicing it. A mistake that beginners often make while practicing or fixing code is that they are too lazy or think they know everything. 😴 It is a bad attitude because practicing code is essential and must not be neglected.
“The World Is Full Of Willing People. Some Willing To Work, The Rest Willing To Let Work. 🌍”
The practice of telling yourself that you know everything is incorrect.
Because when you start writing code, you will realize that you are making a ton of mistakes — It is always good to keep practicing, fixing errors, and to learn how everything works. 😆
10. Doubting Yourself 🤨 | Comparing Yourself 👨👦
It is human to compare ourselves to others. When you see a programmer who is solving problems and making things work that you could not, you start doubting and questioning your abilities. It is a bad practice to compare yourself to others. The person you are comparing yourself to might have years of experience.
Some people are quick at understanding concepts, while some might take a little longer. But this is completely fine if you are interested to learn.
“Doubt Can Only Be Removed By Action. 🔨”
You must be a better programmer every day — Finding the areas you can improve on.
In the end, the last thing is not to give up on your programming journey. There might be times when you could be frustrated, 😣 do not lose hope. It takes time and patience to be a good programmer. All you need to do is follow the right path and be consistent. Learn everything in chunks, make your fundamentals clear, keep practicing, and take regular breaks. Once you finish learning the basics, build a few projects. This way, you will be able to improve yourself every day. 😄 And someday, you will realize how good — programmer you have become. 😃
So that is it for this blog!
Thank you! I hope you learned a lot.
- Deon Cardoza